Friday, 17 December 2010

Only 8 more big sleeps to go.

Hello and welcome to my blog. It's lovely to see you again and I hope you've had a marvellous week. 
Mine has been more eventful than planned, but despite that I've managed to post all the Christmas cards and bought most of the presents. So Smug of Shoreham is just going to sit back and enjoy the Christmas messages from some of those featured this year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone from the Friends of Shoreham Fort.
I would like to personally thank everyone for their support, whether they have given up their Sundays to help with the manual work, helped with fund raising or worked in the background making the project possible. I cannot thank you enough.
We have achieved so much this year, securing £48,000 to be spent on making parts of the Fort structurally sound; a section 17 from English Heritage after proving the quality of our work, which entitles us to carry out more than just "gardening and tidying" for the next 5 years, which is great news; and we have got a page on Facebook where everyone can have their say or keep up to speed with whats happening.
We are just about to launch our new merchandise and, depending on whether or not we can find a local company or person to sponsor the event, hope to secure a date of the 4th June 2011 for our next Military history day and cannon firing.  We are also making some massive improvements to the website in the new year, so watch this space.
All in all, being that this it is our first year as the Friends of Shoreham Fort, I could not have asked for more and I would like you all to give yourselves a big pat on the back!!!!
All the best,
From John Bradshaw, Chairman of Shoreham Beach Residents Association. 
"I know it is old but I still have never seen anything better; PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN."
From Liza McKinney, Marine Ward Councillor.
"A very happy, healthy and wealthy Christmas.  Keep safe and if you must shed blood, give it to the blood bank don't shed it on the road."
From Barrie Turner (Station Manager, National Coastwatch Institution, Shoreham).
Being the manager of a Coastwatch station makes me very vigilant, not just over the sea but in life generally. 
I find it fascinating that, when the Titanic struck that iceberg, the waters were not raging in a stormy tempest, neither was the rain pouring down on the ill fated crew and passengers. It was in fact a pure calm clear night with the stars visible in their thousands and the water like a mill pond, though dark and icy cold. Those who at first saw the incident from on deck, laughed and joked,  "Does anyone want ice in their whiskey?" As the truth emerged and the damage below the waterline was realised, the ship labeled unsinkable started to disappear beneath the inky black cold sea. Panic set in all too late, not enough life boats, not enough time, not enough help at hand. 
We sail through life on what some people call a voyage, when the waters are calm and the night is clear, be prepared, be ready, have friends and people who love you, have a belief and a faith. Then, when you see trouble ahead, the nine tenths hiding beneath the water waiting to sink you will hold no power, it will hold no destruction, it will not cause unknown damage beneath the surface that others do not realise and most importantly, help will come.  There is a verse in Psalms that says, 'Those who go down to the sea in ships know the power of God'.
Happy Christmas everyone.

From Dave Cassan, Press Officer at RNLI Shoreham Harbour.
"Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  Be safe and be with your family this Christmas."

Next Friday is Christmas Eve, by which time I'd have realised that I'd forgotten something crucial and will be rebuking myself for my having been smug. So next week, I'll leave you in the gentle hands of Rev Gail Souppouris to give you the final Christmas message and indeed, the last blog of 2010.
Have a great week and see you next Friday.

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